Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Unconventional Courtroom Fun

Welcome to this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday where Amber West and I channel surf over to TNT.

As I mentioned on an earlier Tele-Tuesday post, TNT hosts some of the hottest summer programming on television today, and the network once again hit one out of the ball park with the new dramedy Franklin & Bash

 “We’re Totally Lawyers” – doesn’t that sound exactly like something the “grown-up” Zach Morris or Travis Birkenstock would say?  

“As if” – who doesn’t totally love Saved by the Bell and Clueless? “Whatever!”

Now I can’t get “Rollin With My Homies” out of my head!

Now back to today’s post – As we learned in last week’s episode, Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) have been friends since high school.  The series begins with the two sitting at a diner watching the traffic in Los Angeles while they banter back and forth when suddenly a fender-bender takes place directly in front of them.  Racing out to the scene, they immediately offer their business cards and legal representation to the driver responsible for rear-ending another car. 

Why is the driver not responsible for the crash when he clearly bumped into the car in front of his?  Franklin and Bash explain that it is because the driver was distracted by the interactive advertising sign yards ahead flashing images of a sexy young woman. 

The young and unconventional attorneys take the case to court and after prompting the beautiful girl in the ad to unbutton her shirt while on the witness stand, thus proving her chest to be guilty of causing an unnecessary distraction to those driving, they win the case against a large and successful law firm.

Witnessing and enjoying the unique techniques of Franklin and Bash, Stanton Infeld (played by Malcolm McDowell) offers the two friends jobs at Infeld Daniels, where he is the senior partner.  Along with their ex-con assistant, Carmen, and their agoraphobic clerk, Pindar, the two join the firm.

Meanwhile, the obvious successor to his uncle, Damien Karp (played by Reed Diamond) takes a disliking to Franklin and Bash and does his best to discredit their antics – but his uncle loves it saying repeatedly that the two remind him of himself when he was younger. 

Further infuriating Damien, Franklin beds Hanna Linden (Garcelle Beauvais, former NYPD Blue cast mate of Gosselaar), another lawyer working at the firm almost immediately.  Why does this bother Damien? Hanna is Damien’s ex. 

We’re only three episodes in, but so far we’ve enjoyed each episode.  Meyer and Gosselaar have great comedic timing and a perfect on-screen chemistry.  Franklin and Bash live together, party together, and work together, yet never seem to tire of one another.  Their famous “Margarita-Monday’s” have already saved one of their cases and provided them the vision to defend another case successfully. 

I’m giving Franklin & Bash another MacTV rating.  It doesn’t quite qualify for the GTV rating that I’d give Justified, Burn Notice, or Bones, but it also doesn’t sit long on my DVR making it a tad better than JFTV. 

I’ve started playing a game with each new episode – how many of Gosselaar’s former TV co-stars will land a guest role on Franklin & BashWanna play?  So far, I’ve already mentioned Garcelle Beauvais…..can you name another?  

Tune in tonight for a new Franklin & Bash on TNT. 

What do you think of Franklin & Bash?  Did you enjoy the butt scene in the first episode, or was it too much?  What do you think of Franklin and Bash’s courtroom antics – are they believable, or would they never happen in real-life?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, click over and check out Amber’s review of TNT’s Men of a Certain Age starring Scott Bakula, Ray Romano, and one of my favorites, Andrew Braugher. 

Remember to stop by the Twitter hashtag (#watchwed) and visit with us about today’s posts and any of today’s television shows that you’d like to see discussed on our series in the future.  Next week we discuss police dramas: Lifetime’s The Protector and TNT’s Memphis Beat.

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Tele-Tuesday: When TV Makes a Wrong Turn (Via Andrew Mocete)

Writer and blogger Andrew Mocete shares a passion for a few of my favorite television shows, and when he accepted my invitation to do a guest post for my Tele-Tuesday series, I knew he would strike gold.   Enjoy!

When TV Makes a Wrong Turn 

Remember Happy Days? Richie Cunningham, Potsie, Ralph Malph and The Fonz? It was a show full of laughs that got better every season.

Then Fonzie jumped over a shark on water skis.

 

Yes, you read right. The coolest guy in all the land, slipped on something dangerously close to a speedo and water skied over a shark. The show was never the same. This was the birth of Jump the Shark, a phrase coined by Jon Hein, to describe the moment a TV show becomes less than what it once was. It doesn’t always mean the show is unwatchable, but has reached its peak and will never be that good again. Here’s a couple of examples.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

AliasVery few pilot episodes are flawless, but the series opener of Alias blows me away every time I watch it. Jennifer Garner plays secret agent Sydney Bristow who thinks she’s working for a black ops division of the CIA called SD-6. When she learns she’s been working for the enemy, she becomes a double agent for the real CIA.

First thing she finds out? Her dad, Jack Bristow (also an agent of SD-6), is ALSO a double agent! You’d think that might help their strained relationship, but no, it makes things worse. Maybe it had to do with the snuggly, wuggly feelings developing between Sydney and her CIA handler, Michael Vaughn. Maybe Jack was still grumpy his wife turned out to be a Russian spy whose mission was to seduce him and steal American secrets for her country. WHAT?! And that’s just the tip of the drama iceberg.

In addition there was a great series arcing storyline involving the race to find artifacts from Nostradamus like prophet, Milo Rambaldi. Whoever had the most, had the power. Naturally, Sydney played a pivotal role in these prophecies.

Jump the Shark moment? The bridge between season two and three.

After two seasons Sydney lost her friends. Francie Calfo and Will Tippin were Sydney’s “normal life” friends who knew nothing of her double life. They added a lot of heart to every episode and offered excellent contrast to all the globe-trotting adventures. Even if their stories were over, it would’ve been nice to keep that normal side of her life intact with new characters.

Rambaldi went on too long. When I first watched Alias, I thought taking down SD-6 would the series objective, but it was wrapped within two seasons. And the show got better. I figure if Rambaldi came to an end sooner, the door would’ve opened for even more awesome stories.

Despite my problems, there was much to love about seasons three through five of Alias (I own them all). But if seasons one and two were a ten, three through five were an eight. A fantastic score, but still a decline.

Gilmore GirlsAnother show that qualifies as having a perfect pilot. The show centered around the relationship of mother, Lorelai Gilmore, and daughter, Rory Gilmore. Lorelai had Rory when she was sixteen, which is the age Rory is when the show begins.

The opening episode has Rory being accepted into a very prestigious and expensive school. In order to pay tuition fees, Lorelai is forced to ask her wealthy parents for a loan. They’ve been at odds since Lorelai was pregnant and have barely spoken since. This is why Lorelai’s mother, Emily Gilmore, makes Friday dinner at her house a condition of getting the loan. If that wasn’t enough, Lorelai’s love life is a mess and she doesn’t realize the perfect guy, Luke Danes, is standing right in front of her every morning she visits Luke’s Diner. Luke does his best to be the “friend” while watching Lorelai date all the wrong guys.

And that’s just Lorelai’s adventures.

One of my favorite parts of the show was the dialogue.  It’s so quick and loaded with pop culture that the DVDs come with a Gilmore-isms feature. All this awesome and it still jumped the shark. And it was so bad, I have yet to finish the series.

Jump the Shark moment? Luke gets a long-lost daughter.

 

And this point in the show Luke and Lorelai are engaged, and to throw a monkey wrench into their plans, Luke’s long-lost daughter finds him. He decides to keep this from Lorelai, which snowballs into them breaking up and Lorelai sleeping with her ex-husband. Grrr.

Unfortunately, the creator of the show (Amy Sherman-Palladino) couldn’t come to an agreement to stay as showrunner for the final season. This is when the show went from Jump the Shark, but still good, to Jump the Shark BAD. I think the new showrunner did his best, but only Palladino could be the voice of that show. The characters weren’t acting like the ones I’d been watching for six years. I gave up.

I think the other problem was that it was the last season and story lines needed wrapping up. Perhaps after this transitional season, the next one would’ve been better. That’s what I’d like to think.

Agree or disagree? Has this happened to any of your favorite shows? Just like Tiffany, I’d love to hear from you!

First, a big THANKS to Andrew! His guest post couldn’t have come at a better time.  Having just returned from vacation, I found myself scrambling around and like magic his email saved me.  Please be sure and check out Andrew’s blog and learn more about him here.  Like I mentioned on Friday’s FabOoolousness, I’m hoping Andrew launches Author Club and my invite is in the mail…

Before I go, I loved Alias, and always wished for more Will Tippin (Bradley Cooper).  Anyone with me? It’s not like Michael Vaughn was a slouch by any means, but there was just something about Will that had me hoping he and Syndey would share more than just a friendship.

 One last thing, stop by Roni Loren’s blog today and check out my guest post!  I was honored when she asked me to write a guest post for her blog while she was away at a conference, and I specifically looked forward to doing the research for her hot Boyfriend of the Week series.  Who did I choose?  Click to find out….

Friday FabOoolousness – June’s MarvOoolous Mashup & Blog Awards

This month, fellow writer & Twitter friend, Raelyn Barclay awarded me with my second blogging award – the Versatile Blogger Award.

THANK YOU, Raelyn!  Winning this award for my Tele-Tuesday and Friday FabOoolousness posts means so very much to me.  I hope to share the things that make me say Ooo with others out there, whether it is television, movies, authors, novels, mysteries, or other bloggers.

From now on, anytime someone clicks on the Versatile Blogger Award icon on my site, they will experience Raelyn’s fabOoolous blog!

This award comes with a few fabOoolous rules:

  1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
  2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
  3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
  4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

Before I share seven random facts about me, I first pass the baton.  The Versatile Blog Awards go to:

  1. Amber West
  2. Ellie Ann Soderstrom
  3. Sonia G. Medeiros
  4. Catie Rhodes
  5. Jess Witkins

 Congratulations!

In addition to these 5 versatile blogs, click on these fabOoolous sites in my June edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

What’s the first rule of Author Club?  WRITE a GOOD story! Oh, what a great post by Andrew Mocete.  Brad Pitt even helps him out with the rules….

If you are your TV like Catie Rhodes suggests, I’m in trouble.  My DVR is jam-packed full of random programming – does that mean that my head is jumbled with complete randomness?  Uh-oh…

Bond, James Bond.  Who doesn’t love 007?  Piper Bayard and her partner Holmes break down some of the Bond films in their new series: Classic Spy Films.

Trapped in a city surrounded with zombies, what do you do?  How about Vote Your Own Adventure by Mark Lidstone.

Let’s flip the switch now to grammar.  Remember that class?  Take the Homonym Hell test issued by Girls with Pens.

Sticking with the writing theme, check out the writing series by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, aka The Bookshelf Muse – 7 Deadly Sins of Writing.

My last mashup goes to the great Jenny Hansen.  This week, we celebrated the release of James Rollins’ new novel, The Devil Colony.  On Tuesday, we partied like it was going out of style on Twitter, and Jen deserves a prize for all of her fabOoolous posts.  Check out a few of the devilish blogs she put together for the event:  Devilish Snacks, Devilish Movies, a Devilish Playlist, and a fabOoolous Devilish mashup.

In addition to my awards & mashup, I was “tagged” (kinda like – Tag; You’re It!) by two fellow Twitter friends & bloggers this month.  It may have taken me a while to get to the game, but sure, I’ll play….

First up, Angela Wallace:

Angela tagged me and the rules state that I must answer these questions & tag eight other bloggers.

1. Do you think you’re hot? I’ve never considered myself hot, like most girls I’m sure.  However, when I darkened my naturally blonde hair to a deep red (not fire engine red), something happened.  Blondes have more fun, but men like red heads!  My new hair color definitely compliments my fair skin and light eyes better than the blonde, but I miss my pretty highlights.

2. Upload the picture or wallpaper that you’re using at the moment.

Having fun in a picture booth….

3. When was the last time you ate chicken? Last night; we eat chicken a lot in my house.  This time, I served chicken with cream of mushroom and sautéed garlic & green beans.  It received rave reviews.

4. What song/s have you listened to recently? “Independently Happy” by Blue October.  BO is my motivational music at the gym.

5. What were you thinking as you were doing this? Holy Toledo this is taking forever….

6. Do you have nicknames?  What are they? I’m T-BRAT for those of you who don’t already know.  T-Brat stands for a few different things: Tiffany-Brat (my brother refused to call me Tiffany growing up, I looked more like a Brattney); Tech-Brat (Guns’ Up, Red Raiders!); and, T-bird-Brat (my very first car was a cherry red Ford Thunderbird).

I have another nickname, but in order to keep the blog clean, think the Meredith Brook’s lyrics….”I’m a _____” – You fill in the blank.

Now, I tag 8 friends: Tymothy Longoria, Robyn Sadler, Jennifer Starks, Haley Whitehall, Mia Castile, Nichole Chase, Leah Lozano, and Elizabeth Sogard.

Next, we have Julie Glover

This tag requires me to type the phrase, “Writing is like…..,” and finish it, post it on my  blog, and then tag three other bloggers.

Writing is like….staring out the window and dreaming of all the wonderful things in this world that you’d like to accomplish but having the ability to transcribe those thoughts into words.  Writing is capitalizing on your imagination, taking the journey you’ve always wanted to travel, and silencing the voices in your head.  (Okay, other writers will understand that this doesn’t make me crazy!)

Now I tag –

Amy Thomas, my friend Wordluster on Twitter, and the creator of my Facebook writing group Young Adult Sisters (and Brothers).

Shellie Sakai, my WANA alumnus, and fellow writer in the fabOoolous Round of Words in 80 Days challenge (aka Row80).

Liz Schulte, another fellow writer and Twitter friend who graciously invited me to join HP’s Writing Group on Facebook, as well as the proud author of the new thriller, Dark Corners.  Check it out!  I’m pretty sure Liz is still up in the clouds….as she should be!

Finally, to my 7 fun facts – This time I tackle the top 7 travel destinations on my bucket list:

1.        Italy – specifically Positano, Rome, and Vatican City.  I want to experience the history, the architecture, the food, and the wine – Now, that’s a vacation!

 

2.       Hawaii – any island, just take me to the beach!  Perhaps a trip while Hawaii Five-0 is filming would be best….it might increase my odds of meeting Alex O’Laughlin. 

 

3.       Canada – I’d like to travel at least once to the west (Vancouver) and once to the east (Prince Edward Island).  Anyone with me?

 

4.       The Caribbean – specifically Jamaica and The Bahamas.

 

5.       Paris – do I really have to explain?  What female doesn’t want to travel to Paris?  See the Eifel Tower?  Eat a fresh macaroon and drink a cup of black coffee at a Parisian café?

 

6.       Germany – my great-grandfather emigrated from Germany to New York.  I’d like to experience the land of my ancestors, and participate in the real Oktoberfest.  Beer & Frankfurters, please!

7.       London – like most Americans, I’m infatuated with the Royal family.  I’d like to see Buckingham Palace, the changing of the Queen’s Guards, ride the London Underground, and experience a culture and history we’ll never quite understand in the states.

 

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? Do you have a bucket list of places to travel?  If so, please share!  Leave a comment; I’d love to hear from you!

One final note, if any of the award recipients or tagged bloggers don’t feel like playing, no worries!  I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – YA Inspired TV

What’s one of the most common phrases used by toddlers when asked, “Who did this?”  How about: “Not me!” (usually coupled with the famous pointing of a finger to the nearest scapegoat).  Children learn at a very early age to lie, even if it’s a harmless little-white lie.  Right? 

The lies worsen as we get older.  We look for excuses behind why we brought home a bad grade, or why we were accused of cheating.  Perhaps some of us were really devious and were looking for the perfect fib when our parents caught us sneaking out the window late at night.  Oh, don’t worry; I never did this, Mom and Dad.   

Regardless, everyone lies – which brings me to today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday show – ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, where lies haunt from beyond the grave.

The series begins when Alison DiLaurentis’ (Sasha Pieterse) remains are found a year after her mysterious disappearance in the fictional town of Rosewood.  This event brings together her four former best friends, who had drifted apart following that fateful night.  Alison was the glue that held the girls together, the leader of the high school clique.  As the episodes progress, viewers see Alison’s viciousness and many of the secrets that she holds over everyone’s heads – not a nice girl.

After attending Alison’s funeral, the four friends reunite outside the chapel when each of their cell phones sound – they’ve received their first threatening text message from “A” – and the mystery begins: Who killed Alison? And, who is “A”?

BFF #1 – Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) returns home from a year abroad with her family, and forgetting she’s a teenager and back in America, goes to a local bar where she meets Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding).  The two immediately hit it off and share a kiss after connecting over their love for literature.  The next day at school, Aria walks into English class where she discovers Ezra is also her teacher. 

Meanwhile, emotions erupt at home when her mother (Ella Montgomery, played by Holly Marie Combs) leaves her father after discovering the true reason behind the family’s extended absence from Rosewood – Aria’s father, a professor, had an affair with a teaching assistant at the local college.  Aria and Alison knew this secret, having spotted Mr. Montgomery (Chad Lowe) making out with his TA in his car.  Whoopsie! 

Isn’t it ironic that Aria now begins a torrid love affair and dates her teacher after torturing her father for a similar inappropriate relationship?  “A” won’t let Aria forget it…..

BFF #2 – Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) replaced Alison as the most popular girl in school following her friend’s disappearance.  “Hefty Hanna”, as Alison liked to call her, dropped her baby fat, partnered with her new BFF Mona and took to a life of brattiness and shoplifting. 

Hanna lacks the self-confidence a young woman needs, having watched her father walk out on her and her mother.  She spirals out of control, throwing herself at her boyfriend, only to be rejected.  Not helping matters, Hanna watches as her single mother (Ashley Marin, played by Laura Leighton) bails her out of trouble by bedding the detective on Hanna’s shoplifting case. 

Hanna really has the worst of luck – she wrecks her boyfriend’s car, and she is run-over when she gets dangerously close to discovering “A’s” identity.  When Mona throws her a surprise “glad you’re alive party,” someone steals all of the money (assumedly “A”) that Hanna’s mother stole from a client at the bank.  And, while following “A’s” sordid trail back to the money, Hanna falls for the wrong boy who happens to be feeding information to the girls’ nemesis, Jenna Marshall (Tammin Sursok).

BFF #3 – Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) is the poor-little-rich-girl of the bunch.  Her successful parents push Spencer to be the absolute best, much like they did with her older sister Melissa.  Spencer is brilliant, but plays second fiddle to her sister, always aware that her parents favor her.  To retaliate, Spencer kisses her sister’s boyfriend (Ian Thomas) and then later kisses her new fiancé.  Matters get worse for Spencer when Melissa surprises the Hastings family by abruptly marrying Ian right after calling off her previous engagement. 

Spencer begins to investigate her new brother-in-law, and slowly uncovers an affair between Ian and Alison before Alison’s disappearance.  As she continues to investigate, Spencer believes that Ian not only stalked her best friend, but also killed her, causing the rift between Spencer and her sister to intensify. 

Now a suspect herself in Alison’s murder, Spencer befriends Toby Cavanaugh who also happened to serve time in jail briefly as the main suspect in Alison’s death.  Did I mention that Toby is also the half-brother of Jenna?  Toby knows just how deceiving and manipulative his sister can be….is Jenna “A”?    

BFF #4 – Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) is the daughter of a military father always away on assignment who is confused with her own sexuality.  She starts the series with a boyfriend, but then falls for the new girl, Maya sending her mother (Nia Peeples) into a tailspin.  Making even more of a splash, Emily takes Toby to the homecoming dance as her date trying to hide the fact that she’s gay.  The fact that Emily doesn’t totally believe in Toby’s innocence, like the rest of the town, leads to a dangerous encounter. 

After accepting that she was a homosexual, Emily is devastated when Maya is sent away to military school after marijuana is found inside Maya’s back pack.  Emily turns back to her swimming career and begins having feelings for her competition and swim-mate. 

Emily’s world continues to turn upside down when her mother announces that they’re leaving Rosewood to live with her father, who is stationed in Texas.  Meanwhile, Emily holds the key to the photo evidence Spencer uncovered of Ian and Alison on her home computer, which conveniently gets erased when the realtor shows the Fields’ house. 

And the text messaging begins...."A"

Obviously, each of the teens have oodles of conflict surrounding them, even without “A” threatening their every move.  Throw in the suspicions the police and their parents have regarding their involvement in Alison’s murder, and the lies they continuously try to hide despite “A’s” best efforts, Pretty Little Liars doesn’t bore their viewers – they have twists and turns week in and week out.    

I give the girls & the mystery behind Pretty Little Liars another MacTV rating – despite the fact that I’m in my thirties, I tune in every single week to watch these little teenagers scurry around playing detective trying their best to solve their BFF’s murder and discover the true identity of the creepy texter known only as “A” who anticipates their every move. 

Do you watch Pretty Little Liars or is the show too young for you?  What do you think of the mystery – have you figured out the identity of “A” or who killed Alison?  Which of the girls do you relate to the most – Aria, Spencer, Hanna, Emily, Alison, or the outcast Jenna?  I’d love to hear from you!  

Now it’s time to click over and read Amber’s post discussing the new ABC Family series The Nine Lives of Chloe King based on the young adult series written by Celia Thompson (also known as Liz Braswell). 

Remember to stop by the Twitter hashtag (#watchwed) and visit with us about today’s posts and any of today’s television shows that you’d like to see discussed on our series in the future.  Next week we swap channels and move over to TNT where we’ll discuss Franklin & Bash and Men of a Certain Age.

Tele-Tuesday: White-Hot TV

We all know the temperature is red-hot in Miami.  In 2007, the temperature rose when a new production came to town.  With sexy stars and massive explosions, Burn Notice raised the climate in Miami to white-hot.

Burned by the U.S. government, former spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) wakes up bruised and sore in a run-down Miami motel with no memory of how he got there.  Freezing bank accounts and assets, and deleting the agent’s entire job history are just a few of the government’s little tricks when burning an agent.  With nothing, Michael turns to his family and friends for assistance as he takes on odd jobs for money, mostly utilizing his background as a spy to take down drug cartels, find kidnapped victims, and handle any other sticky situations that require his expertise.  The news of Michael’s success as a private investigator quickly spreads throughout Miami, and he’s known as the go-to guy for anyone finding themselves in a bind.  The numerous requests for his help often interfere with his only goal – discovering the truth behind his burn notice.

On a personal note, Michael has a hard time letting anyone get close to him, undoubtedly due to his life as a secret agent.  Michael every so often lets down his emotionally hardened wall to friends and family, and he reveals a vulnerable side.  He can’t refuse to help his loved ones out of trouble, regardless of just how deep they’re in.  While his primary goal is to unravel the mystery behind his excommunication from the government, Michael will do anything necessary to keep his close circle of loved ones safe.

Michael first enlists an ex-navy seal buddy, Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), to help him uncover the truth behind his burn notice.  Since retiring, Sam’s life has been focused on women and booze.  Sam often refers to his conquests as “lady-friends”, and these women inevitably provide Sam with cars, money, and rich bungalows that he lends to Michael for use during their freelance work to interrogate suspects, hide clients, or even hide themselves.

Despite his friendship and loyalty to “Mike” (Sam’s the only one who calls Michael by the commonly used abbreviation), Sam was forced to inform on Michael to the FBI, but Sam found a way to only report “half-truths” to the feds, with Michael’s help of course.  After some of Michael’s file mysteriously vanished, the FBI’s no longer needed Sam’s help.  Undercover, Chuck Finley (Sam’s alias) uses his knowledge of the American government to obtain the necessary information for Michael’s task at hand.  With his training as a Navy SEAL and his brilliance with tactical plans, Sam proves to be a valuable asset for Michael and the team.

The second member of the team is Michael’s ex-girlfriend and former IRA agent Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar) who doubles as an arms dealer and a bounty hunter.  Fiona loves to blow things up and always jumps at the chance to build and plant explosives.  Fiona and Michael first met while he was undercover as an operative, and his abrupt departure (his cover was blown) has always haunted her.   She wants nothing more than to rekindle her relationship with Michael, and even uses his mother against him at times.  Fiona’s sharp-tongue and quick-wit make for some of the best banter between the characters.  She has a love/hate relationship with Sam, and really only tolerates him because of his loyalty to Michael.

Not quite a member of the team, but always in the middle of things, is Michael’s chain-smoking mother, Madeline Westen (played by the great Sharon Gless).  Madeline hovers over Michael, always reminding him that he was never around when the family needed him most: he didn’t attend his father’s funeral, he doesn’t help his brother (who happens to be a train-wreck by the way), and he never tells her what she wants to know such as where he’s been all these years and why he always flees when she needs him most.  Regardless, Madeline loves her son and does whatever necessary to keep him close by.  One of Madeline’s favorite tricks is to insist that Michael help her friends, and in return she too joins the team now and then by going undercover to aid her son and his friends.

The fourth and newest member of the team, Jesse Porter (Coby Bell) is a counterintelligence agent accidentally burned by Michael.  Not knowing Michael was responsible, Jesse approaches Michael and asks for his help uncovering the truth behind his very own burn notice.  Feeling guilty, Michael not only invites Jesse to join the team, but he also offer’s Madeline’s garage to Jesse as a safe place to stay.  It’s not long before Jesse puts two and two together, and though he ponders killing Michael, he ultimately rejoins the team after Madeline tricks her son and his friend into talking it out.

Last season ended with Michael arriving in Washington, D.C. and coming face to face with a man who greets Michael with a cold, “Welcome back.”  Will Michael’s burn notice be lifted?  Will Michael and Fiona grow their relationship as a couple, or will Michael continue to push her away?  Will Jesse’s obvious feelings for Fiona pose as an additional threat to Michael & Fiona’s future, or will he graciously step aside?

 

Burn Notice is one of the best, and definitely the sexiest show on television.  To add fuel to the fire, Jeffrey Donovan might just be the sexiest man on TV.  Does anyone else make eating yogurt look so yummy?  When he throws on those sunglasses and flashes that crooked smile, he has women melting in their living rooms across the U.S.

Not to leave the men out, many argue that Gabrielle Anwar is indeed the sexiest woman on TV.  C’mon guys, doesn’t it have something to do with her love of guns and explosions, or is just her smokin’ hot body?

And, not to deny their sexiness, Bruce Campbell rocks Sam’s Hawaiian shirts unbuttoned down his chest, and he wears a pinky ring like no other.  Oh, and Coby Bell?  He’s quite the sight for sore eyes.

Is this enough for you to check out USA’s hit?  Tune in this Thursday, June 23rd for the season premiere.

 

Are you a Burn Notice fan? Who’s your favorite character on the show and why? Do you watch because of the sexy cast, the compelling and action-packed story lines, or for another reason?  Do you think Michael and Fiona can survive a relationship, or does the show need to continue to play a cat & mouse game to keep it interesting?  I’d love to hear from you!

Stay tuned after Burn Notice for the season premiere of Suits on USA.

Remember to stop by the #DevilColony hashtag in Twitter today to celebrate James Rollins’ new release – The Devil Colony. 

Friday FabOoolousness – New York Times bestselling author, James Rollins

On Saturday, May 7th, I was sitting around (eh-hem, I mean doing research) watching television, when I decided to give a shout out to a fellow Twitter-mate that Kristen Lamb had recently introduced me to.  Imagine my surprise when he responded that he was at the Pirates premiere in California and would tweet more after the movie.

Questions started circling in my head: Pirates premiere?  In California?  The Pirates of the Caribbean premiere?  Pirates, as in Captain Jack Sparrow and Johnny Depp? 

The answer to all of those questions was – YES!

New York Times bestselling author James Rollins

Who in the world had Kristen just introduced me too?  Don’t get me wrong, I knew the name James Rollins, but was @jamesrollins the James Rollins?  The James Rollins New York Times bestselling author??

Did I think that I had been chatting with a NYT bestselling author the past few weeks?  No, I didn’t.  Had I actually been chatting to a NYT bestselling author on Twitter?  Yes, I had! 

For those who may not know, James Rollins is indeed a New York Times bestselling author.  He’s written over sixteen books as James Rollins, and seven under the pen name James Clemons.  His works span several genres including action-adventure, thriller, suspense, mystery, and fantasy.  For all you Indiana Jones fans, James wrote the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. 

We could celebrate James for any of his many accomplishments.  For one, he’s a licensed veterinarian.  We could also celebrate James for any one of his literary series, like his Jake Ransom series for children and adults; his many individual works such as Subterranean or Ice Hunt; his short stories, including his most recent release: The Skeleton Key; his The Banned and the Banished series; but, today we’re celebrating James for his SIGMA Force series

James Rollins' SIGMA Force Series

The first novel in the SIGMA series, Sandstorm, was released in June, 2004.  The SIGMA Force is a fictional division inside the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and consists of highly trained and skilled operatives as well as expert scientists whose primary focus is fighting terrorism and protecting sensitive and confidential information. 

The SIGMA series also includes Map of Bones (May, 2005), Black Order (June, 2006), The Judas Strain (July, 2007), The Last Oracle (June, 2008), and The Doomsday Key (June, 2009).

Guess what?  It’s June, 2011.  Do you know what that means?  It’s time for a new SIGMA Force novel! 

The Devil Colony, book number seven in the SIGMA series, releases this Tuesday, June 21st

Join us, Tuesday, at the world premier launch party of The Devil Colony!  Find us gathering for twenty-four hours on Twitter in the hashtag #DevilColony.  This gathering may be online, but make no mistake – this will be a HUGE cyber-party. 

What’s the party’s theme?  You guessed it – Devil

Dress up for a costume party, or dress up for a fancy New York or Los Angeles book release party.  Wear devil costumes, eat deviled eggs or deviled ham, and take pictures!  Not in the costume mood?  Put on that sexy cocktail dress and high heels or your Mad Men suit, and take pictures!  Post all of your pictures on twitter in the #DevilColony hashtag.  Why

James will stop by periodically to say “Hi” to all of his friends, family, and fans.  Why else? 

James will also select his favorite pictures from our cyber-party and post them on his site’s Wall of Fame.  Why else? 

The best pictures will win a big mystery prize

Camera shy?  That’s okay!  Join us anyway.  Tuesday’s #DevilColony hashtag will be the social event of the Twitter-verse.  Come, have fun and hang out! 

Do all the writers out there need added incentive?  This is James Rollins, the NYT bestselling author.  What if other agents, editors, and bestselling authors stop by?  Do you really want to miss that opportunity? 

All success aside, James Rollins is an everyday guy.  He’s funny, smart, compassionate (he’s a veterinarian for goodness sake), and most importantly, he’s my friend.  

In the meantime, stop by James’ website here and his bookshelf here!

Check out Jenny Hansen’s fun post about James here and read a fun interview with James by Kristen Lamb here

Have you read any of James’ books?  Will you join us Tuesday at our cyber-party?  Have you ever pinched yourself when you realized you were talking to one of your favorite authors via social media?   Leave a comment and share; I’d love to hear from you! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Just Teen TV?

About a month ago, Amber West approached me and suggested we join forces to share more of our love of television with our friends and family.

More TV?  You don’t have to ask me twice!

So, after a few weeks of preparation, we’d like to welcome everyone to our first installment of Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Each week, we’ll each take one television show and provide a mini-review with our readership.  Sometimes we’ll compare and contrast, other times we’ll write separate posts covering two different shows – like today. 

We’ve also created a fun ratings chart for each post – can anyone tell what was on our mind when we hashed out these details?  My other favorite thing: FOOD!

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more

MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies

JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds

SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out

LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

And now, to the main event: Teen Wolf, MTV

On an earlier Tele-Tuesday post, I introduced MTV’s new series: Teen Wolf.  We all remember the 1985 comedy starring Michael J. Fox, right?  MTV promised to take the generalized idea behind Teen Wolf, but compared their story to a transformed version with a darker side, similar to the CW’s The Vampire Diaries.

First, a few similarities:

MTV's Teen Wolf - Scott McCall

In 1985, Michael J. Fox played Scott Howard; today, Tyler Posey plays Scott McCall.

In 1985, Scott Howard’s best friend was an oddball named Stiles; today, Scott McCall’s best friend is an awkward oddball named Stiles.

In 1985, Scott Howard wasn’t the best basketball player on the team, not until he transformed into his wolf-self; today, Scott McCall isn’t anywhere close to the best lacrosse player on the squad, until he endures the cursed bite, that is.

Now, to a few differences:

1985's Teen Wolf - Scott Howard

In 1985, Scott Howard suffered from a family curse, a long line of male werewolves that sometimes skipped a generation; today, Scott McCall is bitten by a werewolf while out in the woods searching for the remains of a dead girl with his best friend. 

In 1985, Scott Howard show-boats around as his wolf-self; today, Scott McCall works desperately to keep his curse secret from everyone, excluding his BFF, Stiles.

In 1985, audiences laughed along with Scott Howard in Teen Wolf; today, viewers and Scott McCall cringe as another person in the community is brutally attacked by an animal.

I’ll be honest; MTV’s Teen Wolf has pleasantly surprised me.  The show’s claim to focus on the mythology of the werewolf, and the darkness of the curse, has been an accurate, so far. 

Episode three (aired Monday, June 13th) introduced the idea of the alpha and beta wolf.  Scott McCall and Derek Hale (played by Tyler Hoechlin from 7th Heaven) are beta wolves; an alpha is the strongest, most powerful, and the most deadly kind of werewolf.  An Alpha bit Scott, and wants Scott to join the Alpha’s pack.  The conflict here?  This Alpha is obviously a nasty and horrible werewolf, and Scott wants nothing to do with this violent lifestyle.  Will Derek help him?  Or is Derek setting Scott up?

We also saw our first werewolf on werewolf fight scene in episode three.  While it wasn’t as exciting as a Salvatore brother fight (Yes, I’m talking about Stefan and Damon, ladies!), it was a nice twist away from the typical nerdy high school boy who wants to lead a normal life and date the beautiful new girl (Allison Argent played by Crystal Reed) storyline that’s also a large element to MTV’s Teen Wolf

Need more conflict? Did I mention that Scott’s dream girl’s father is the lead hunter out to kill the werewolves in the area?  And let’s not forget that Scott’s humiliation of “top-jock” Jackson Whittemore (played by Colton Haynes from The Gates) on the lacrosse field now drives Jackson to discover exactly what Scott is hiding. 

After three weeks of viewing, I give MTV’s Teen Wolf a MacTV rating; it’s definitely a guilty pleasure.  It’s not perfect, but it satisfies. 

What do you think?  Do you prefer the 1985 comedy or the newer, darker version of Teen Wolf?  Is Derek a good wolf, or is he setting Scott up?  Will Allison follow in her father’s footsteps and train to hunt werewolves?  How will Allison react when she learns Scott’s secret?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, remember to click over and read Amber’s post discussing the new series Switched at Birth on ABC Family. 

Are you on twitter?  Stop by the twitter hashtag (#watchwed) and visit with us about today’s posts and any of today’s television shows that you’d like to see discussed on our series in the future.